Door knobs may well be one of the most functional home accessories but this doesn’t mean you don’t have options when it comes to kitting out the doors on your property. Their practical nature means they need to be well-designed according to the occupiers needs and match the utility of the room or closet they’re fixed to. With this in mind, here are some of the most popular kinds available today.

Passage knobs

These are probably the most common type of door knob in the home, as they can be used on any door where a lock isn’t required. Often found on  kitchen, hallway and other communal doors, passage knobs operate by a simple turn and latch mechanism. These come in materials like traditional brass and chrome and offer a basic but effective level of function.

Center Door Knobs

Often seen adorning grand entrances to municipal or public buildings, Centre door knobs create an elegant statement in and out of the home and due to their decorative function, often appears in many varied designs. Whether in a rose, octagonal or faceted style, these door knobs remain popular for those who want to make a good first impression.

 Period Door Knobs

There are some beautiful vintage-inspired door knobs out there and if you have decorated your home in a traditional mode, a solid brass Victorian knob or an oval design will complement this perfectly. More unusual styles like Queen Anne or Georgian come with sculpted features and detailing that’s sure to catch your guest’s eye.

Privacy and Locking Door Knobs

These are a step up in security, designed for use in bedrooms and bathrooms. The advantage of using knobs with built-in locks for internal doors is that privacy is ensured but in a way that blends seamlessly with the furnishings. While privacy knobs secure from the inside with a button, locking knobs have an actual lock and key system.

Back-plated Door knobs

If you’re looking for a door fitting with a bit more substance, door knobs on backplates come in a range of different shapes, with or without locking mechanisms. Options include beaded surrounds, streamlined Art Deco effects and classic motifs such as egg and dart detailing. In addition, the backplate protects the door from scratching or staining around the opening.

As with any home furnishing, door knobs need to withstand regular use and still operate smoothly, year after year. Aesthetic appeal may seem a secondary consideration, but as they are also a very visible point of contact, it’s also important to keep the overall look of the property in mind, particularly when thinking about re-sale value. If you have a walk-in cupboard or other door where you don’t need knobs on both sides, don’t rule out dummy door knobs, as the absence of complex fixtures means you can pick from a greater choice of material and look.

Jennifer Arran is a freelance writer for several home and garden publications off and online, specializing in home fittings such as those found on She enjoys rooting around auction houses and second-hand stores in her spare time, on the lookout for gems amongst the vintage door handles and black iron cabinet pulls.